‘A Man’s Best Friend’ Question & Answers, Notes Class 8 English Book New Voices

‘A Man’s Best Friend’ by Issac Asimov is science fiction: Here you would get a summary, word meanings and answers to Textbook exercise questions as given in the class 8 English book ‘New Voices’.

Notes: “A Man’s Best Friend” by Isaac Asimov

Summary of “A Boy’s Best Friend”

The story takes place on the Moon, where ten-year-old Jimmy lives with his parents in Lunar City. Jimmy has a robotic dog named Robutt, who is his constant companion. Robutt is equipped with a simple positronic brain and is designed to act like a real dog, providing Jimmy with companionship and safety in the harsh lunar environment.

One day, Mr. Anderson informs Jimmy that they have a surprise for him: a real Scotch terrier puppy, which will be the first dog on the Moon. Mr. Anderson believes that Jimmy will prefer the real dog over Robutt, arguing that a real dog is alive and capable of genuine love, unlike the mechanical Robutt.

Jimmy, however, is deeply attached to Robutt and considers him to be more than just a machine. He feels that Robutt understands him and has always been there for him. Jimmy questions whether the dog’s feelings would be any more real than Robutt’s programmed responses. Despite his father’s insistence that he will see the difference once the real dog arrives, Jimmy remains unconvinced. He argues that his love for Robutt is what truly matters, highlighting the emotional bond he has formed with his robotic companion.

In the end, Jimmy’s strong attachment to Robutt is evident as he holds him tightly, and Robutt responds with happy squeaks, reinforcing their bond. The story explores themes of companionship, the nature of love, and the blurred line between artificial and genuine affection, leaving readers to ponder what truly makes a companion “real.”

Vocabulary: Word Meanings

Crater – A large, bowl-shaped cavity in the ground, typically caused by an explosion or impact. Robutt – Likely a robotic companion or pet. The name is a playful take on “robot.”Rocket station – A place where rockets are launched and maintained. Moonborn – A term referring to someone who was born on the Moon. Spindly – Long and thin, suggesting weakness. Agile – Able to move quickly and easily. Lunar gravity – The gravity on the Moon, which is about one-sixth as strong as Earth’s gravity. Kangaroo hop – A type of movement on the Moon where the reduced gravity allows for long, hopping strides. Somersaulting – Performing a flip or a complete turn in the air.

Pitch-dark – Completely dark; no light at all.Grown-ups – Adults. Radar – A system for detecting objects using radio waves. Spacesuit – A suit worn to protect astronauts from the harsh environment of space. Lunar City – A settlement or city located on the Moon. Private wavelength – A communication channel or frequency that is private and not shared with others. Quivering – Shaking or trembling slightly.Glassed-in – Enclosed or covered with glass. Sprayed – To be cleaned or covered with a fine mist of liquid.

Scotch terrier – A small breed of dog originally from Scotland, known for its distinctive appearance and lively personality. Puppy – A young dog. Imitation – A copy or replica of something. Robotmutt – A playful combination of “robot” and “mutt” (a mixed-breed dog), referring to a mechanical dog.

Frowned – Made an expression of disapproval, displeasure, or concentration by furrowing one’s eyebrows. Positronic brain – A fictional advanced form of artificial intelligence, typically used in robots in science fiction. Programmed – Instructed a machine or device to operate in a specific way. Spacesuit – A suit designed to protect astronauts from the harsh conditions of space. Adjusted – Changed or modified to suit a particular purpose. Desperate – Showing a sense of urgency and despair.

Intext-Questions & Answers

Q. Can you guess who Robutt is?

Ans. It seems to a robotic companion or pet.

Q. How do you think Jimmy felt when he heard this?

Ans. When Mr. Anderson told Jimmy that they had something for him at the rocket station, Jimmy probably felt a mix of excitement and curiosity. He might have been thrilled at the prospect of getting something new, especially if it came from Earth, which he has never visited. Given his adventurous spirit and the close relationship he has with his parents and Robutt, Jimmy likely felt very happy and enthusiastic about the surprise.

Q. Can a mechanical imitation be as good as a real dog?

Ans. Real dogs have a unique ability to form emotional bonds with humans. They show affection, loyalty, and can respond to their owner’s emotions in a way that is very intuitive and natural. A mechanical imitation, like Robutt, might be programmed to mimic these behaviours, but it may lack the genuine emotional depth that a real dog possesses.

On the Moon, where resources and conditions are vastly different from Earth, a robotic pet like Robutt has clear advantages. Robutt doesn’t need food, can withstand harsh environments without a spacesuit, and provides safety features like radar. These practical aspects might make Robutt more suitable for lunar life compared to a real dog.

Textbook Exercise Solutions

Comprehension

  1. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were waiting for Jimmy’s friend to arrive from Earth. False
  2. The Andersons arrived on the Moon 17 years ago. False
  3. Jimmy arrived on the Moon from Earth with his parents. False
  4. Jimmy loved Robutt and used to play with him. True
  5. Robutt found its way around with the help of a radar. True
  6. The Andersons wanted Jimmy to have a real dog. True
  7. Jimmy could handle gravity because he was born on the Moon. True
  8. Jimmy looked forward to the arrival of the new dog. False (He was conflicted and attached to Robutt)
  1. Yes. He’s at the rocket station, going through the tests.’
    a. Who is the speaker and who is being spoken to?
    b. Who is at the rocket station?
    c. Why is the one at the rocket station going through tests?
  2. ‘It’s hard to explain,’ said Mr Anderson, ‘but it will be easy to see.’
    a. Who is Mr Anderson speaking to?
    b. What is hard to explain?
    c. Why will it be easy to see?
  3. Jimmy’s father had let him hear about that little trick and Jimmy never tried it again.
    a. Which trick is being referred to in these lines?
    b. What happens as a result of the trick?
    c. Why does Jimmy’s father let him hear about it?

Answers:

  1. a. Mr. Anderson, and he is speaking to Mrs. Anderson
    b. The real dog, a Scotch terrier puppy, is at the rocket station.
    c. The dog is going through tests to ensure it can safely live on the Moon and adapt to the lunar environment.
  2. ‘a. Mr. Anderson is speaking to Jimmy.
    b. It is hard to explain the difference between the affection and companionship of a real dog and that of Robutt, the robotic dog.
    c. It will be easy to see the difference once Jimmy experiences the genuine love and behaviour of the real dog compared to Robutt’s programmed actions.
  3. a. The trick being referred to is when Jimmy pretended to be hurt, causing Robutt to sound the radio alarm and summon people from Lunar City.
    b. As a result of the trick, people from Lunar City rushed to Jimmy’s aid, thinking he was in real danger. Jimmy’s father was not pleased and scolded him for causing unnecessary alarm.
    c. Jimmy’s father let him hear about it to teach him a lesson about the seriousness of causing false alarms and the importance of not pretending to be hurt, which could lead to real emergencies being taken less seriously.
  1. Were the Andersons like parents one meets on Earth? Give evidence to support your answer.
  2. Why was Jimmy so attached to Robutt?
  3. Would you agree that Robutt was like any other dog one might find on Earth? Substantiate your answer with evidence from the story.
  4. Why didn’t Jimmy want a dog from the Earth?
  5. Do you think Jimmy would have been happier with the Scottish terrier?
  6. Describe Jimmy’s feelings when he heard that his parents wished to send Robutt away.
  7. Why is the story called ‘A Boy’s Best Friend’?
  8. Do you think it is difficult to live in space? Give reasons for your answer.

Answer:

  1. Yes, the Andersons were like Earth parents because they cared about their child’s happiness and well-being. They wanted to give Jimmy a real dog to make him happy, just like parents on Earth would do something special for their child.
  2. Jimmy was so attached to Robutt because Robutt was always with him, played with him, and kept him safe. Jimmy felt that Robutt understood him and was his best friend.
  3. No, Robutt was not like any other dog on Earth. Robutt was a robot made of steel and wiring, and he had a positronic brain. He was programmed to act like a dog but was not a real, living animal.
  4. Jimmy didn’t want a dog from Earth because he loved Robutt and felt that Robutt was already like a real dog to him. He didn’t want to lose Robutt, his best friend.
  5. It’s hard to say. Jimmy might have liked the Scottish terrier, but he was very happy with Robutt and didn’t want to lose him. So, he might not have been happier with the new dog.
  6. Jimmy felt very sad and upset. He loved Robutt and didn’t want to lose him. He was worried and didn’t understand why Robutt had to go.
  7. The story is called ‘A Boy’s Best Friend’ because it shows how much Jimmy loved Robutt, who was his best friend. Even though Robutt was a robot, Jimmy cared for him like a real friend.
  8. Yes, it is difficult to live in space. People need special suits to go outside, and there are many dangers, like falling and getting lost in the dark. Everything is different, like gravity, and people have to be very careful.

Vocabulary

Answer: Matching the column A with the column B:

ABMatching
1. basketa. bodyb. ball
2. anyb. balla. body
3. sunc. hopperd. flower
4. upd. flowere. stream
5. grasse. streamc. hopper
6. playf. fatherh. things
7. grandg. fighterf. father
8. fireh. thingsg. fighter
9. highi. bookk. rise
10. notej. boardi. book
11. keyk. risej. board

B. Find antonyms of these words and make sentences with any five of your choice. You may use a dictionary.

  1. modern
  2. majority
  3. inform
  4. steady
  5. progress
  6. rapid
  7. reveal
  8. relevance
  9. destroy
  10. entire

Answers:

  1. modernancient: The ancient ruins stood in stark contrast to the modern buildings surrounding them.
  2. majorityminority: Although the majority voted in favour, the minority raised valid concerns.
  3. informmisinform: It’s important not to misinform people with false facts.
  4. steadyunsteady: The ladder felt unsteady, so I decided not to climb it.
  5. progressregress: Without proper planning, the project might regress rather than progress.
  6. rapidslow: The slow pace of the tortoise eventually won the race.
  7. revealconceal: The magician did not reveal the secret behind his trick.
  8. relevanceirrelevance: The relevance of her argument made it more convincing.
  9. destroycreate: It takes years to create something beautiful but only moments to destroy it.
  10. entirepartial: We only have a partial view of the mountain from our window.

Any Five Sentences:

  1. ancient – The ancient ruins stood in stark contrast to the modern buildings surrounding them.
  2. minority – Although the majority voted in favor, the minority raised valid concerns.
  3. unsteady – The ladder felt unsteady, so I decided not to climb it.
  4. conceal – The magician did not reveal the secret behind his trick.
  5. create – It takes years to create something beautiful but only moments to destroy it.

Grammar

  1. I like to play with my cat.
  2. The boy saved the puppy from the wolves.
  3. He wants to start a blog.
  4. The teacher is working hard to help her students do better.
  5. Talking is prohibited in the library.
  6. The teacher asked the students to submit their homework.
  7. Kiara knows how to bake cakes.
  8. He went to the mountains to find some peace.
  9. She works hard to do well.
  10. I have finished my homework.
  11. The broken vase lay scattered on the ground.
  12. He kept me waiting.
  13. The play was interesting.
  14. The price of goods depends a lot on its demand.

Answers: Here are the sentences with finite verbs in bold and non-finite verbs in brackets:

  1. I like (to play) with my cat.
  2. The boy saved the puppy from the wolves.
  3. He wants (to start) a blog.
  4. The teacher is working hard (to help) her students (do) better.
  5. (Talking) is prohibited in the library.
  6. The teacher asked the students (to submit) their homework.
  7. Kiara knows how (to bake) cakes.
  8. He went to the mountains (to find) some peace.
  9. She works hard (to do) well.
  10. I have finished my homework.
  11. The broken vase lay scattered on the ground.
  12. He kept me (waiting).
  13. The play was interesting.
  14. The price of goods depends a lot on its demand.
  1. Stephen loves …….. television.
  2. The author is good at ……… speeches.
  3. I like ………. books on science.
  4. ………. is good for you.
  5. I love ……….
  6. Anita always dreams about ……… on a holiday.
  7. ………. is done in this season.
  8. We talked about …….. the sports meet.

Answers: Filling in the blanks with the -ing forms (in bold letters) of suitable verbs given in the help box.

  1. Stephen loves watching television.
  2. The author is good at giving speeches.
  3. I like reading books on science.
  4. Walking is good for you.
  5. I love painting.
  6. Anita always dreams about going on a holiday.
  7. Harvesting is done in this season.
  8. We talked about attending the sports meet.
  1. She carries an umbrella. It protects her from rain.
  2. Raman speaks the truth. He is not afraid of it.
  3. We heard of his promotion. We were happy for that.
  4. He collects antique paintings. It is his hobby.
  5. Farah has carried her bag. She will fill it with vegetables.
  6. Sohail is going to Mumbai. He will join the management institute there.
  7. The water is very cold. I cannot drink it.
  8. The mountain is very high. We cannot climb it.

Answers: Joining the sentences using infinitives:

  1. She carries an umbrella to protect herself from rain.
  2. Raman speaks the truth not to be afraid of it.
  3. We heard of his promotion to be happy for that.
  4. He collects antique paintings as his hobby.
  5. Farah has carried her bag to fill it with vegetables.
  6. Sohail is going to Mumbai to join the management institute there.
  7. The water is very cold to drink it.
  8. The mountain is very high to climb it.
  1. He has……… his own partner for the game. (select)
  2. He would have ……… fell ill. (resume) his work after the holidays, but he
  3. Has the question ……… answered? (be)
  4. We……… for the train with patience. (wait)
  5. The apples were……… by a boy. (buy)
  6. This incident……… last year. (occur)
  7. The song was …….. by Alice and her sister. (sing)
  8. The food has been……… by the children. (eat)
  9. The matter was properly………. by the authorities. (deal)
  10. 10.I ……… my classes regularly in school. (attend)
  11. He …….. to England, so you can’t meet him now. (go)
  12. The children had ……… inside the house before the rain started falling. (run)

Answers: filled-in blanks with the past tense or past participle forms (in bold letters) of the verbs:

  1. He has selected his own partner for the game.
  2. He would have resumed his work after the holidays, but he fell ill.
  3. Has the question been answered?
  4. We waited for the train with patience.
  5. The apples were bought by a boy.
  6. This incident occurred last year.
  7. The song was sung by Alice and her sister.
  8. The food has been eaten by the children.
  9. The matter was properly dealt by the authorities.
  10. I attended my classes regularly in school.
  11. He went to England, so you can’t meet him now.
  12. The children had run inside the house before the rain started falling.
  1. My little sister’s favourite hobby is painting.
  2. The police arrested Ranu for speeding.
  3. Opening the letter, he let out a cry of disbelief.
  4. Swimming keeps me fit and healthy.
  5. Her family appreciates her talent for singing.
  6. Before leaving the house, we always check if all lights are off.
  7. Reading in poor light will affect the eyes.
  8. Driving to the school, Dhruv found a lost puppy on the road.
  9. Reena is afraid of hurting others feelings.
  10. Singing to herself is Monisha’s chief delight.

Answers:

1. My little sister’s favourite hobby is painting.

  • Gerund: painting

2. The police arrested Ranu for speeding.

  • Gerund: speeding

3. Opening the letter, he let out a cry of disbelief.

  • Participle: Opening

4. Swimming keeps me fit and healthy.

  • Gerund: Swimming

5. Her family appreciates her talent for singing.

  • Gerund: singing

6. Before leaving the house, we always check if all lights are off.

  • Participle: leaving

7. Reading in poor light will affect the eyes.

  • Gerund: Reading

8. Driving to the school, Dhruv found a lost puppy on the road.

  • Participle: Driving

9. Reena is afraid of hurting others’ feelings.

  • Gerund: hurting

10. Singing to herself is Monisha’s chief delight.

  • Gerund: Singing

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply